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RAILWAY CUT INVESTIGATION STUDY
February 4, 2004
Dave McCusker Halifax Regional Municipality P.O. Box 1749 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3A5 Dear Mr. McCusker: Re: Railway Cut Investigation Study: Final Report
Marshall Macklin Monaghan Limited (MMM) and Atlantic Road & Traffic Management (ARTM), are pleased to present the Railway Cut Investigation Study for the Halifax Regional Municipality. Our report indicates that there are several viable options for shared use of the CN rail line. The options had been described and evaluated in detail. Preliminary cost estimates are also included. Thank you for the opportunity to assist with this project. We look forward to assisting the Halifax Regional Municipality with future assignments. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience. Yours very truly, MARSHALL MACKLIN MONAGHAN LIMITED
Jim Gough, P.Eng. Senior Project Manager Transportation Planning Associate Partner Attachments Cc: Ken O’Brien, ARTM
Railway Cut Investigation Study: Final Report February 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................. 1 1.1 Scope of Study ................................................................................................................ 1 1.2 Other Relevant Projects .................................................................................................. 1 2.0 RELEVANT PROJECTS IN OTHER LOCATIONS ........................................................ 3 2.1 Whittier, Alaska Access Tunnel ..................................................................................... 3 2.2 Detroit River Tradeway Project ...................................................................................... 4 3.0 EXISTING CONDITIONS................................................................................................. 6 3.1 Existing Corridor Conditions.......................................................................................... 6 3.2 Existing Rail Operations ................................................................................................. 7 4.0 TRUCKWAY OPTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES........................................................... 9 4.1 Descriptions of TruckWay Alternatives: Typical Sections and Operations ................... 9 4.2 Alternatives to a TruckWay in the Rail Corridor.......................................................... 11 4.3 Evaluation of Options ................................................................................................... 12 4.3.1 Staging Considerations ......................................................................................... 14 4.3.2 Relationship to the Greenway Proposal................................................................ 15 4.3.3 Potential for Commuter/Express Bus Service....................................................... 15 4.3.4 Effect on Future Rail Operations .......................................................................... 15 5.0 CORRIDOR OPERATIONS ............................................................................................ 16 5.1 Rail Corridor Opportunities for Bus or Truck Service ................................................. 16 5.2 Truck and Bus Terminal Connections .......................................................................... 17 5.2.1 Ocean Terminals and Halterm Port Facilities....................................................... 17 5.2.2 North End.............................................................................................................. 18 5.3 Potential Robie Street TruckWay Connection.............................................................. 18 5.3.1 Direct Connection ................................................................................................. 19 5.3.2 Fly-Over Connections........................................................................................... 20 6.0 PRELIMINARY COST ESTIMATES ............................................................................. 22 6.1 Roadway Cost Estimate ................................................................................................ 22 6.2 Chebucto Road Bridge Structure .................................................................................. 23 7.0 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ............................................................................... 24
Railway Cut Investigation Study: Final Report February 2004
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Existing Rail Schedule ....................................................................................................... 7 Table 2: Evaluation of Alternatives................................................................................................. 13 Table 3: Robie Street At-Grade Connection Cost Estimate ......................................................... 20 Table 4: Robie Street Grade-Separated Connection Cost Estimate ............................................ 21 Table 5: Cost Estimate – Entire Corridor (Option 1 and Option 4A) ......................................... 23 Table 6: Cost Estimate – Chebucto Bridge..................................................................................... 23
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: Figure 2: Figure 3: Figure 4: Figure 5: Figure 6: Figure 7: Figure 8: Figure 9: Figure 10: Figure 11: Study Area Whittier, Alaska Access Tunnel Cross Section Detroit River Tradeway Project Concept Sketch Corridor Photograph Corridor Photograph Typical Cross Section in Corridor Corridor Photograph Existing Rail Schedule Operation Requirements – Ocean Terminals Operation Requirements – North End Robie Street Fly-Over Alignment
LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix A: Typical Sections Appendix B: Robie Street Connections Appendix C: Detailed Cost Estimate Worksheets
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Marshall Macklin Monaghan Limited (MMM), in partnership with Atlantic Road and Traffic Management (ARTM), has been retained by the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) to undertake a high level investigation of the potential for use of the Canadian National (CN) railway corridor to facilitate either commuter bus or truck freight traffic to downtown Halifax. Commercial truck traffic in Halifax relies heavily on the urban arterial road network to facilitate the movement of goods from the port facilities located in the South End to the freeway network and the rest of the Province. As rail traffic associated with the port facilities in the rail cut is declining, truck freight traffic is increasing on the peninsula. This increase in truck traffic has negative impacts in terms of noise and vibration as well as congestion on the area streets. The need exists in Halifax to improve the trucking connections to and from the port facilities. Figure 1 illustrates the study area and the rail corridor. 1.1 Scope of Study This study has been intended primarily to determine if it is feasible to use the rail corridor as a route for vehicular traffic as well as train traffic. It has focussed on an investigation of potential options for use of the railway corridor to accommodate either commercial truck or commuter bus traffic. This report presents various alternatives in terms of typical cross sections and evaluates the feasibility of each cross-section and operational strategy in the corridor. Opportunities for connections to the arterial street network are evaluated and preliminary cost estimates have been developed for the feasible alternative. The corridor currently accommodates double-stacked container cars. On the basis of this operation, it can be assumed that sufficient vertical clearance exists to accommodate trucks in the corridor. The report also addresses alternatives to use of the rail corridor as a TruckWay. 1.2 Other Relevant Projects Halifax Urban Greenway The Halifax Urban Greenway is a concept for an urban walking trail using the CN rail cut from Chebucto Road to Young Avenue. The intention is to create a trail that extends from the
Source: MapArt, 2000
CN Rail Corridor
FIGURE 1 Rail Cut Investigation Study Area
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Armdale Rotary to Point Pleasant Park. It is understood that at some locations, the Greenway concept includes passing the trail under the bridges over the rail corridor. At present, the Greenway has no official status. Urban Transportation Showcase Proposal HRM is has been successful in its proposal to the federal Urban Transportation Showcase program for transit priority into downtown Halifax. While the original proposal included consideration of the rail corridor, it is understood that the current proposal does not address the rail corridor.
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2.0 RELEVANT PROJECTS IN OTHER LOCATIONS
Two projects have been reviewed to summarize similar experiences in other jurisdictions. These are the Whittier Access Tunnel project in Alaska and the Detroit River Tradeway Project between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. Both of these projects accommodate vehicle traffic in an existing rail corridor, and thus demonstrate that it is feasible to accommodate truck and other vehicular traffic together with rail traffic, through various combinations of geometric design and traffic signal systems. There is no legislative or operational obstacle to this type of combined operation in principle. The following sections describe these projects in greater detail. 2.1 Whittier, Alaska Access Tunnel This US$57-million facility is the longest rail and highway tunnel in North America. The existing rail tunnel was enlarged to accommodate highway traffic along the existing railbed in a dual street rail-road concept. Figure 2 illustrates the cross section of the tunnel. The tunnel is the only land connection between Whittier, Alaska and the rest of the State. Cars would enter and exit the town only by riding railroad flatcars through the 4.2-km tunnel. The volume and future demand of rail and highway traffic was deemed compatible for a street-railroad scheme. The concept gained support from local governments and the Alaska Rail Road Corporation (ARRC) because the project would promote economic development in Whittier and the cities along the Alaska Marine Highway System on Prince William Sound. Traffic control of the facility is a key concern because it operates as a oneway facility. Two control systems were designed to operate vehicle and train traffic respectively. The tunnel control system (TCS) monitors and controls all of the tunnel systems, including vehicle detection,
Figure 2 Source: www.dot.state.ak.us/creg/whittiertunnel
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surveillance, illumination, ventilation, driver information, highway signals and gates. Train signal system (TSS) monitors and controls train movement, switches, track conditions and signals. These two systems are vitally interlocked. When the tunnel is being used by vehicles, the TSS is locked out, and trains are prohibited from entering the tunnel area by diversion tracks. The tunnel can only accommodate highway traffic in one direction at one time, therefore traffic is held at staging areas at each end, and the two directions of traffic flow then alternate. A traffic signal at the end of each lane will signify when vehicles from that lane can enter the tunnel. The signal is co-ordinated with an access control gate system. The highway surface is constructed of durable concrete panels, capable to withstand severe freeze-thaw conditions. The rails are embedded in panel grooves and fastened down with elastic rail clips. The centreline of the highway tunnel is offset from the tracks so that the wheels of vehicles will straddle the track structure. Because train schedules will vary, a daily updated schedule is used to show the times during the day when highway vehicles can use the tunnel. The schedule is available on the official website. The daily schedules forecast three days in advance the periods that the tunnel will be closed for train use. The size of vehicles that can pass through the tunnel is limited to a maximum of 10 feet wide (excluding mirrors), 14 feet high and 75 feet long. 2.2 Detroit River Tradeway Project The Windsor-Detroit border crossing is one of the world’s busiest border crossings, however the existing twin tube rail tunnel is not able to accommodate modern, double-stacked cars due to its height restrictions, and is currently underused. As owner/operator of the rail tunnel and corridor stretching from Highway 401 in Windsor to I-75 in Detroit, the Detroit River Tunnel Partnership (DRTP) has engineering and design studies underway to convert the existing rail tunnel into a state-of -the-art, 2-lane truck tunnel and TruckWay. A new, second tunnel would be built for modern, double-stacked rail cars. A concept sketch is Figure 3 illustrated in Figure 3. Source: www.thetradeway.com
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Restricted to commercial truck traffic only, the TruckWay proposes to provide a direct connection between Highway 401 in Windsor and I-75 in the Detroit with future access by trucks traveling the City’s proposed EC Row – Highway 401 link. At 14.5 km in length, the DRTP’s TruckWay will be the shortest and quickest Windsor-Detroit route with no cars or traffic signals and regulated speeds to reduce emissions. The existing rail yards will be redeveloped as the TruckWay’s modern, processing and clearance centre where Canada and U.S. customs will co-locate. Shipments will be processed via 28 inspection lanes, 14 for each country, automated tolling and electronic clearance systems. Trucks will travel the entire route enclosed in a secure, fenced perimeter monitored by advanced surveillance technology. The proposed TruckWay will significantly improve trade flow in the Windsor-Detroit border and ease truck queues at the world’s busiest border crossing.
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3.0 EXISTING CONDITIONS
A site visit was undertaken by MMM staff on February 12th and February 13th, 2003 to investigate the feasibility of truck or bus traffic in the corridor. This site visit included a review of the entire rail corridor and photographs were taken at key locations to document the existing corridor conditions. 3.1 Existing Corridor Conditions The CN rail corridor is approximately 6.9 km in length from the Ocean Terminals and Halterm port facilities in the South End to Kempt Road in the North End. The corridor generally consists of one rail track that is situated in a deep rock cut (approximately 8 m deep in its deepest location). CN has undertaken significant work in the corridor recently to accommodate the height requirements of double-stacked containers. This work involved lowering the existing rail line so that the containers could fit underneath the existing bridge structures in the corridor. At the South End of the corridor leading into the Ocean Terminals and Halterm port facilities (Figure 4), the corridor is very wide and accommodates additional storage tracks. The existing Young Avenue and Tower Road bridge structures are situated high over the tracks and there are no obvious physical constraints limiting the implementation of a potential roadway in this area. The section between Robie Street and Quinpool Road represents typical conditions in the corridor. The corridor in this area is generally situated in a rock cut with one active and one unused rail track (Figure 5). The corridor formerly contained two rail tracks in its entirety until recently when one track has been lifted. A portion of this second track remains in the southern part of this area and is used mainly for storage of trains. Based on base mapping provided by HRM, the corridor has a right-ofway (ROW) that ranges from a minimum width of approximately 30 metres to 45 metres (~100 to 150 feet) with adjacent residential land uses. Figure 4
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The potential physical constraints identified in this area are the existing bridge structures. This section of the corridor also contains some of the narrowest sections of the rock cut, in the vicinity of Jubilee Road. A typical cross section of the corridor at a bridge structure in this area is illustrated in Figure 6. The rail corridor between Quinpool Road and Kempt Road varies between being situated in the rail cut and in open areas. Moving north beyond Quinpool Road, the corridor approaches level grade. At Chebucto Road, the corridor crosses overhead via a bridge structure adjacent to the Armdale Rotary. The adjacent land uses in this area consist of residential and various commercial uses (see Figure 7). Beyond Mumford Road, the corridor is again in an increasingly deep cut. The depth of the cut reduces as the corridor approaches Joseph Howe Drive, where a siding splits off and crosses Joseph Howe Drive. From Bayers Road to Kempt Road, the adjacent uses are Figure 7 primarily commercial and industrial. The potential physical constraints in this area are identified as the existing bridge structures over the corridor and the rail bridge over Chebucto Road. 3.2 Existing Rail Operations The existing train schedule has been obtained for the rail corridor and is summarized in Table 1. The table outlines the times during the day when the corridor is occupied by a train travelling in either direction. TABLE 1 EXISTING RAIL SCHEDULE Time Occupying Corridor
VIA 15 CN 121 CN 149 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 3:00 a.m. to 3:30 a.m.
VIA 14 CN 148
Source: Southend Halifax Waterfront Lands Study, Phase II, Exhibit 4.14
FIGURE 6 Typical Corridor Cross Section at Bridges
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Table 1 shows that there is a significant amount of time available during the day when the corridor is not in use by a train essentially throughout the morning and in the evening. In the morning, there is one westbound train between the hours of 6:00 am and 7:30 a.m. The corridor is vacant the rest of the morning until 1:00 p.m. when VIA operates a train westbound out of its Hollis Street station. The corridor is then used on and off between 2:30 and 5:00 p.m. for CN freight trains and light running of locomotives. The evening and early morning time slots are also vacant with one CN train eastbound at 3:00 a.m. Locomotives travel along the track from Bedford to the Ocean Terminals and Halterm port facilities in order to provide power for the departing trains. Typically these locomotives would travel down the corridor within an hour prior to the departure of the train. It should also be noted that the second, unused track is currently used for rail car storage. This is understood to be an issue for CN. The reduction in number of trains (understood to have occurred earlier this year) has resulted in the need for increased number of rail cars to be stored in close proximity to the Ocean Terminals. It is also understood that Via Train #14 (eastbound) tends to be persistently late, because it is the end of the run. Nevertheless, it does not change the fact that there is a significant amount of time available for commuter buses and trucks, with no interference from trains.
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4.0 TRUCKWAY OPTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES
Concepts have been developed that could potentially accommodate the use of trucks and/or commuter buses in the rail corridor. The basic premise in the development of these options was to maintain the existing rail operations of the corridor. The options have been defined in terms of typical sections that are presented in Appendix A. 4.1 Descriptions of TruckWay Alternatives: Typical Sections and Operations The following describes the development of the typical sections and the details of the crosssections and potential operations in the corridor. Option 1 The first option explored the idea of constructing a one-way roadway beside the existing rail line, separated by a concrete barrier. This option consists of an exclusive rail line with a 3.7 metre travel lane to accommodate directional one-way traffic and a 2.5 metre shoulder on each side of the travel lane to provide sufficient space for a truck or bus to manoeuvre around the disabled vehicle. The shoulders are beneficial in terms of making the one-way TruckWay attractive to the industry by ensuring reliability. This option would operate as a one-way roadway, with the rail service unaffected by trucks and/or buses in the corridor. The directional scheduling of vehicles in the corridor would be required in the day to day operation. In the morning peak period, the roadway could be opened for eastbound commuter buses and trucks accessing the Ocean Terminals and Halterm port facilities. In the evening peak period, the roadway could be opened for westbound commuter buses and trucks leaving the Ocean Terminals and Halterm facilities. This option could operate on a half-hour or an hourly basis. This option would require staging facilities at each terminus to accommodate vehicles that want to access the corridor but have to wait for their respective direction to open. Similar to the Whittier Access Tunnel, special signal systems and access control measures would also be required with this option to ensure access for one direction only. Option 2 This option consists of embedding the existing rail line in a new roadway. The typical section was developed as an urban cross section with curb and gutter treatment at the edge of pavement. This cross-section has a width of approximately 8 metres. A disabled vehicle would be required to mount the curb in order for another vehicle or tow truck to manoeuvre around it in the corridor. This may not always be possible, depending on the nature of the vehicle breakdown, and would obstruct corridor operations.
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This option would only allow truck and/or buses to use the roadway when there are no trains occupying in the corridor. Similar to Option 1, the roadway would also function as a oneway operation for vehicles. Staging areas and special signal systems would be required at each terminus of the corridor to accommodate vehicles that are waiting to access the roadway when there is a train in the corridor, or when the TruckWay is operating in the opposite direction. It is recognized that the Option 2 drawing does not reflect the existing track locations in the corridor. Option 2 was discarded through the evolution of the alternatives, and thus the drawing was not adjusted to reflect the track locations. Option 3 Option 3 builds upon Option 2 in that an additional travel lane is added to accommodate twoway truck and/or bus traffic. The width of this cross-section is approximately 12 metres, and includes typical curb and gutter treatment at the edge of pavement. A disabled vehicle would be required to mount the curb in order for another vehicle or tow truck to manoeuvre around it in the corridor. This may not always be possible, depending on the nature of the vehicle breakdown, and would obstruct corridor operations. There is no physical separation between rail and road with this option. Therefore, when there is a train in the corridor, no vehicles could be accommodated on the roadway. Staging areas at each end would accommodate vehicles until a train exits the corridor and it could be opened up for two-way operation. Option 4 Option 4 includes one vehicular lane per direction. The NB/WB lane would be located where the active rail line is currently. The SB/EB lane would be adjacent to this lane. One lane would have the rail track embedded in the road. Option 4 was developed to provide for a barrier separation between rail traffic and vehicle traffic, so that the roadway could operate in one direction when there is a train in the corridor. This section provides a cross-section width of approximately 12.5 metres, and includes curb and gutter treatment at the edge of pavement. As with Option 2 and 3, a disabled vehicle would be required to mount the curb in order for another vehicle or tow truck to manoeuvre around it in the corridor. This may not always be possible, depending on the nature of the vehicle breakdown, and would obstruct corridor operations. When there is no train in the corridor, the roadway could operate as a two-way facility. When a train enters the corridor, the travel lane with the rail embedded in the road would be closed to vehicle traffic in this direction. Special signal systems and traffic control devices
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would be required to ensure that vehicles could not enter into the travel lane that contains the rail line. The existing rail track would be switched to the opposite side of the corridor. This is to maintain rail traffic during construction. During the construction, a new track will be constructed adjacent to the existing track (on the proposed SB/EB lane), with excavation under the bridges to ensure sufficient vertical clearance for double-stacked container cars. Once the track is established on the SB/EB lane, the NB/WB lane will be closed for construction, and rail traffic will be on the new track, on the SB/EB lane. This concept applies to Options 3 as well. The cost of excavation was not reflected in the costing.
Option 4A A refinement to Option 4, this option provides a boulevard treatment or ‘reverse shoulder’ treatment at the edge of pavement. This is intended to provide a driveable curb to accommodate a vehicle breakdown for temporary lay-by until emergency vehicles arrive on scene and the vehicle can be removed from the corridor. 4.2 Alternatives to a TruckWay in the Rail Corridor There are alternatives to use of the entire rail corridor length as a TruckWay. These include: • • • • Use of the section only between the Ocean Terminals and Robie Street; Trailer ferry from Halterm across the harbour to the end of the Circumferential Highway; Trailer-on-flatcar (TOFC) technology from the Ocean Terminals to a remote intermodal terminal location; and Development of an elevated expressway over the CN rail line.
Each option is discussed below. Robie Street Connector The alternative of developing a truck road only to Robie Street is discussed in detail in Section 5.3 below. Trailer Ferry The concept of the trailer ferry service from Halterm to the end of the Circumferential Highway would involve shipping entire trailers to a terminal on the Dartmouth side of the harbour. The time issues related to that concept would likely be the determining factor as to whether this would be attractive to the trucking industry. The time to load the barge, cross the
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harbour and unload the barge onto trucks via a “drop-trailer” crane or shunter cab could add significantly to overall trip time, depending on the truck's destination and frequency of the ferry service. It is expected that only long-distance truck trips destined to the east or north would find this option attractive. Trailer-on-Flatcar (TOFC) Technology The potential use of trailer-on-flatcar technology involves on-site shunter cabs depositing their loads on a flatbed rail car for transport to another intermodal depot in a remote location. This technology is usually used to minimize the cost of transport of the goods. Physical requirements for the technology are minimal; a terminal incorporating a raised accessway so that shunter cabs can drive on and off the railcars is the basic requirement. To make the technology cost-effective and attractive for the industry, the travel time between terminals has to be such that the time for loading, transport and unloading of the rail cars is less than the time for trucks to carry the load the entire distance. Typically, that distance is in the range of four hundred kilometres, with a corresponding road travel time of four hours or more (that is the case in Michigan/Ontario, where the technology has been considered for the Detroit-Windsor-Toronto corridor). Therefore, based on the nature of the technology and experience in other locations, the TOFC technology is less preferable than the TruckWay alternative. However, it is understood that HRM may wish to promote this technology for reasons of reducing traffic, noise and vibration impacts to downtown residents. The operational complexity of TOFC would require a detailed operational and economic analysis, which is beyond the scope of this study. Its viability cannot be determined until the operational aspects are fully understood. Costs and benefits relative to the trucking option should then be assessed, taking into consideration the cost of the TruckWay alternative. Elevated Expressway The concept of an elevated expressway over the CN rail line has not been analyzed in detail. This option would have very high costs, and would likely have significant community impacts in terms of noise, air quality, visual effects, and traffic congestion. There would also be issues related to the expected lack of accommodation for more single occupant vehicles in downtown Halifax, in terms of parking facilities and municipal road capacity. 4.3 Evaluation of Options Table 2 provides a comparison of the alternatives.
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TABLE 2 - EVALUATION OF OPTIONS OPTION
• separation between rail and road increasing safety • shoulders provided for vehicle breakdowns, increasing safety • no change to existing rail line during construction • roadway can operate if train in corridor • lower cost
Option 1 • One-way roadway • Exclusive rail line (23 m)
• large cross-section width • one-way road system, limiting capacity for growth in truck traffic
• One-way roadway Option 2 • Rail embedded in (8 m) roadway
• narrow cross-section • lower cost
• Two-way roadway Option 3 • Rail embedded in (12 m) roadway
• narrow cross-section • two-way road system
Option 4 • Two-way roadway (12.5 m, • Rail embedded in curb and roadway gutter) Option 4A (12.5 m, reverse shoulder)
• two-way road system • roadway can operate in one direction if train in corridor • two-way road system • roadway can operate in one direction if train in corridor • shoulders provided for vehicle breakdowns, increasing safety
• one-way road system, limiting capacity for growth in truck traffic • roadway can’t operate if train in corridor • no shoulders provided for vehicle breakdowns • rail embedded in road, adding to cost and complexity of staging • roadway can’t operate if train in corridor • no shoulders provided for vehicle breakdowns • rail embedded in road • higher cost • rail relocation during construction • no shoulders provided for vehicle breakdowns • rail embedded in road • higher cost • rail relocation during construction • rail embedded in road • higher cost • rail relocation and limited excavation during construction
• Two-way roadway • Rail embedded in roadway
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All of the options identified in Table 2 are feasible geometrically for implementation in the corridor. Option 4A was identified as the preferred cross section alternative because it provides for two-way travel separated by a barrier in the corridor for truck and/or buses, when no trains are present. It permits and one-way travel when there is a train in the corridor. The physical separation between the travel lanes provides for safe operation of the roadway when in use by truck and/or buses on both directions, or if there is a train occupying one lane in the corridor. By providing two-way truck and/or bus travel, Option 4A provides maximum operational efficiency of the corridor and would reduce the delay and storage requirements at the connection points in the South and North End. Option 1 is also ranked high in the evaluation, as it would not require changes to the existing rail line or impact existing rail operations. A one-way road could be constructed beside the rail line with a physical separation implemented between the rail line the new roadway to allow for dual operation in the corridor. There are significant cost savings for not requiring rail relocation during construction, which make this option more appealing from a cost perspective. 4.3.1 Staging Considerations In order to maintain existing rail operations during construction Option 4A, the construction phasing scheme could require the relocation of the existing rail line to ensure that the roadbed structure is adequate. Under this plan, staging would be as follows: • • • A new rail line embedded in the new road would be constructed next to the existing rail line; Once the rail line is constructed and operational, trains would be switched to the new track; Construction could be completed on the second vehicle lane of the system. This would result in a final cross section that consists of the rail line relocated to the west side of the corridor. If rail operations could be compromised during the construction stage, then there would be no need to relocate the existing track. The implications of relocating the existing rail line are discussed below, under the development of the cost estimate.
It is our understanding that while the existing track (the east track) has the necessary vertical clearance for the double-stacked container cars, the opposite side (the west track) does not. Additional excavation along the west track at bridge crossings would be required as a preliminary measure of the staging.
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4.3.2 Relationship to the Greenway Proposal The options all use the physical expanse of the rail corridor more extensively. The options would preclude the Greenway trail from passing under the major road bridges, because of the limited horizontal clearance under the bridges. However, it is understood that the Trail is only expected to pass under Quinpool Road. It is also possible that the presence of trucks together with trains in the corridor could be regarded as incompatible with the concept of the Greenway as a "river of greenery" (as described on the Greenway website). 4.3.3 Potential for Commuter/Express Bus Service The options would permit use of the corridor for commuter and/or express bus service. Options 3, 4 and 4A would be the preferred options in terms of accommodating the bus service, because they provide the opportunity for two-way bus service with fewer delays or limits on service periods. The bus service could potentially include stops at the following locations: • • • • St. Mary's University Dalhousie University West End Mall Bayers Road Shopping Centre
Pedestrian connections would be required at these locations, potentially involving some form of grade-separation over the corridor. At the St. Mary's, Dalhousie and Bayers Road Shopping Centre stops, stairs (and ideally an elevator) would be required due to the change in grade between the corridor and destination. HRM should also consider the form of transit priority upstream of the busway, particularly at the Peninsula Screenline crossing point, where capacity is most constricted. 4.3.4 Effect on Future Rail Operations Options 1, 4 and 4A all permit some degree of rail and truck operations at the same time. Options 2 and 3 do not permit this co-occupation. It is assumed that the rail company would attempt to define time limits for the truck operation, which would provide flexibility for future rail traffic growth. HRM should be prepared for negotiations with CN over this issue.
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5.0 CORRIDOR OPERATIONS
5.1 Rail Corridor Opportunities for Bus or Truck Service Figure 8 presents the existing rail schedule broken out on an hourly basis throughout the day. The figure outlines potential times that the corridor could be in use for either a commuter bus route or truck route. Based on information provided by HRM, it is understood that the current truck volumes operating to and from the Ocean Terminals and Halterm port facilities are on the order of approximately 240 to 350 vehicles per day. Assuming a 30-second headway between trucks and an average operating speed of 40 kilometres per hour, the corridor could accommodate 96 trucks per hour one-way. The total travel time for this many vehicles (350 vehicles) to travel through the 8-kilometre rail cut would be 220 minutes (or approximately 3.6 hours). That would leave approximately 650 minutes per day free for use by commuter buses or other vehicles (570 minutes are required for trains). This adds to the indication that use of the corridor for both types of traffic is feasible. This may be an optimistic estimation, as it is based on the assumption that the trains are regularly on time. Option 1 With the implementation of Option 1, the roadway could operate eastbound (downtown) during the morning peak period for trucks and commuter buses when demand is heavy going into downtown. In the afternoon and evening when demand would increase for westbound (leaving downtown) commuter buses and/or trucks, the corridor could operate westbound. Depending on the directional demand for trucks in the evening and overnight, the corridor could switch operations frequently between eastbound and westbound. Option 4A With the implementation of Option 4A, the corridor could be operational for trucks 24 hours a day in at least one direction. The project would likely require the existing track to be switched to the opposite side of the corridor, so that when there is a train in the corridor only westbound truck and/or bus traffic (away from the port facilities) could be permitted. Additional excavation would be required as well. A two-way commuter bus route could be operational in the corridor during the morning peak period between 8:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The corridor could provide westbound bus traffic from 6:00 a.m. (or earlier) to 2:30 p.m. Two-way commuter bus traffic could be provided in the evening from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (or later if demand justifies it).
Figure 8 - Existing Rail Schedule
7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 0:00 0:30 1:00 1:30 2:00 2:30 3:00 3:30 4:00 4:30 5:00 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:00 23:30 5:30
Case 1: Trains and other vehicles not allowed in the corridor simultaneously
Case 2: Trains and other vehicles are allowed in the corridor simultaneously (parallel truckway)
Train arrival/departure time at Halifax and Rockingham
Light power to/from diesel servicing facility
Potential time slot for trucks (no interference from trains)**
Potential time slot for commuter buses and trucks (no interference from trains)**
*Eastbound trains are more commonly late because they are at the end of their run.
16-03019\train schedule3.xls, 3/12/2004
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The corridor could be used as a TruckWay for the port facilities in the South End to effectively move goods to and from the freeway network. There would be sufficient capacity in the corridor for trucks to operate in conjunction with commuter buses. Trucks would occupy the corridor most likely later into the evening and earlier in the morning than buses would operate. It has been brought to our attention that persistent delays in the eastbound Via Train # 14 may affect windows of availability for commuter buses and trucks in the railcut. The train normally arrives Halifax at 4:10 p.m., and it is understood that the train may be late byr an hour or two. Even that, there is still 60 to 90 minutes of potential time for commuter buses and trucks, without interference from trains. While the time slot for commuter buses is expected to be constant, based on the need of a consistent for departure and arrival time, the time slot for trucks can be managed by the signal system, based on the arrival time of the Via Train.
It is noted that the rail corridor opportunity time slots were preliminary, based on the existing rail schedule, not taking into account future changes of rail schedules. Therefore it is recommended that the Municipality should discuss rail schedules with CN, in order to reach a mutually convenient, flexible and cost-effective time-sharing schedule.
Truck and Bus Terminal Connections 5.2.1 Ocean Terminals and Halterm Port Facilities Connections to the corridor in the South End would be accommodated through the Ocean Terminals and Halterm port facilities. There is believed to be sufficient land in the Ocean Terminals and Halterm port facilities to accommodate an entry control point that would prevent unauthorized vehicle access and alert drivers to any potential hazards in the corridor such as vehicle breakdowns or provide an update on train schedules in the corridor. Special signal systems would be required at this connection point to ensure safe and efficient operation of the corridor. With implementation of Option 4A, signal systems and traffic control gates would be required to prevent trucks or buses from accessing the corridor when a train is present. With Option 1, signal systems and traffic control would be required to ensure that no vehicles could access the corridor when the road in not operating in the required direction. A truck staging area would need to be provided to queue trucks that are loaded and waiting to gain access into the corridor. With Option 4A, truck storage would be required while a train is in the corridor. Under Option 1, truck storage would be required while the corridor is operating in the eastbound direction (into the Ocean Terminals and Halterm).
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The port area would also be the logical location to provide a connection into the corridor for commuter buses. An express bus service(s) could operate from the ferry terminal in downtown Halifax to Clayton Park, Bedford and Sackville. Access to Barrington Street could be provided via Marginal Road in the Ocean Terminals and Halterm port facilities. There would be a need to restrict access from the local road to the port facilities to only buses and/or trucks that are authorized for use in the corridor. Figure 9 illustrates the potential operational requirements of the Ocean Terminals and Halterm connection area. 5.2.2 North End In the North End of the rail cut a firm terminus point has not been defined by HRM. An ideal connection to the corridor is via the at-grade rail crossing on Joseph Howe Drive. This would provide convenient access and egress to Highway 102 via a short drive along Joseph Howe Drive to the Bi-Centennial Drive ramp connections. Truck staging facilities would also be required at this location with the implementation of Option 1, to provide truck storage for time periods when the roadway is operating in the northbound direction. When the roadway is operating in the southbound direction, authorized trucks could proceed directly into the corridor. Special signal systems and traffic control would be required to control access and egress at this location. For commuter buses, gateway access and egress at the north end of the corridor could be established via the Bayers Road bus terminal. The Bayers Road bus terminal is located adjacent to the Bayers Road Shopping Centre and access to the Rail Cut corridor could easily be made just north of the Shoping Centre. Figure 10 illustrates the potential operational requirements of the North End connection area. 5.3 Potential Robie Street TruckWay Connection The feasibility of a TruckWay connection into the corridor via the south end of Robie Street was also assessed as part of our investigation. The purpose of this assessment was to examine the feasibility of providing an alternate truck route to the Ocean Terminals and Halterm port facilities that would remove trucks from Water and Hollis Streets in the downtown core, without constructing a new roadway through the remainder of the rail corridor to the Fairview Cove area. This alternate connection could be potentially be viewed as an interim Phase 1 stage that could be implemented within the
Bus Connection to Local Streets
Potential Truck/Bus Staging Area
Source: MapArt, 2000
CN Rail Corridor
FIGURE 9 Ocean Terminal Corridor Connections
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Truck Connection to Local Streets
Potential Truck Staging Area
Connection for Commuter Buses
Source: MapArt, 2000
CN Rail Corridor Traffic Signals Bayers Road bus terminal
FIGURE 10 North Corridor Connections
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next few years, with Phase 2 involving continuation of the roadway in the rail corridor to the North End. Robie Street is one of the main north/south arterial roadways north of South Street with direct connections to Highway 111 via the MacKay Bridge and reasonable connections to Highway 102 and Highway 103. Robie Street is designated as a Truck Route from Inglis Street north to the MacKay Bridge, leaving only about 300 metres of local street south of the Inglis Street intersection. However, Robie Street provides access for many residential properties, and is also adjacent to hospital and university lands. This could be a concern in terms of ease of implementation. The Robie Street TruckWay Connection can be viewed as an inexpensive, short-term first phase of the TruckWay. Phase 1 would involve about 0.9 km of the overall TruckWay, leaving about 5.7 km to be constructed as Phase 2, to connect to Joseph Howe Drive at the railway crossing. If the Robie Street connection is to be Phase 1, the bridge should be aligned perpendicular to the tracks, to facilitate access to both directions of the overall TruckWay. When Phase 2 is completed, truck use of Robie Street could be prohibited or restricted to local service and the Robie Street connection could be used by buses rather than trucks. The Robie Street connection will provide a valuable future busway connection for buses traveling from the west and north to access both St. Marys and Dalhousie Universities, as well as the various hospitals in the area. Two main options were assessed, which include a direct at-grade connection to the corridor and a fly-over connection that would ramp down once over the existing rail tracks. 5.3.1 Direct Connection The direct connection to the corridor from Robie Street was assessed in terms of three potential alignment alternatives. These alternatives are shown in Appendix B. Our assessment assumes that the road would ramp down from Robie Street and consist of an atgrade crossing of the rail line, with the road continuing beside the tracks into the Ocean Terminals and Halterm port facilities. The assessment was undertaken for two-way operation of the roadway connection that would not impact the existing rail line or rail operations, except at the at-grade intersection. Signals would be required at this intersection and possibly on Robie Street, to stop traffic from proceeding down into the connection when there is a train in the corridor. The resulting profiles for each alignment alternative were then evaluated. A 40-km/h design speed was assumed for this connection, along with a six percent maximum grade for the roadway.
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Alternative 1 consists of a connection to the corridor via a curved alignment west of Robie Street. This alternative would require a profile change on Robie Street approximately 70 metres back from the existing edge of pavement to accommodate a six percent grade. Alternative 2 consists of a straight alignment from Robie Street to an at-grade connection in the corridor. This alternative would require a profile change on Robie Street approximately 185 metres back from the existing edge of pavement. Alignment 3 consists of a curved alignment east of Robie Street. This alternative would require a profile change on Robie Street approximately 45 metres back from the existing edge of pavement. All of the alignment alternatives assessed for an at-grade connection to the corridor are feasible but would require significant changes to the existing elevation of Robie Street and would also require significant property acquisition in the area. This would also have significant impacts on property access. The direct connection would also require a significant amount of rock cut to accommodate a six percent road grade from Robie Street. A detailed cost estimate has been prepared for Alternative 2, which is the direct connection to the corridor with an at-grade crossing the rail line. This detailed cost estimate is presented in Table 3.
TABLE 3 ROBIE STREET TRUCKWAY WITH AT-GRADE CONNECTION COST ESTIMATE – ALTERNATIVE 2 (VERSION 4) Item Services Capital Truck Road Robie Street Connection Special Systems Property (Allowance) Total Cost Cost $2,500,000 $4,850,000 $3,600,000 $1,100,000 $5,100,000 $17,200,000
5.3.2 Fly-Over Connections
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Two fly-over connections to the corridor were also assessed in terms of their feasibility. The potential alignment and profile of these options is presented in Figure 11 in Appendix B. These options would not require a crossing of the existing rail line, which would improve traffic operations of the roadway by removing any potential conflict with rail traffic. The fly-over options would require the construction of a new bridge structure over the existing rail line and then a ramp connection to the corridor. Option 1 Version 3 includes a 90-metre radius grade separated ramp. Option 2 Version 3 is similar to Option 1, with a 190metre radius grade separated ramp. The property requirements of the fly-over options would be minimized, as there would be no profile change requirements on Robie Street. There would also be a cost savings, with the removal of the rock-cut cost that is required with the direct connection option. However, there would be a large structure and ramp cost associated with the fly-over option, and a high ongoing maintenance cost for this structure. The cost estimates for the fly-over options are summarized in Table 4. TABLE 4 ROBIE STREET TRUCKWAY WITH GRADE-SEPARATED CONNECTION COST ESTIMATE –VERSION 3
Item Services Capital Road Robie Street Ramp to Base of Cut Property (Allowance) Total Cost
Option 1 $1,460,000 $3,600,000 $3,910,000 $300,000 $9,300,000
Option 2 $1,570,000 $3,600,000 $4,810,000 $300,000 $10,300,000
The concept of a truck road extending only from the Ocean Terminals to Robie Street would have a lower cost than the total TruckWay, but also fewer benefits. This connection would remove trucks from the narrow and congested sections of Hollis Street and Lower and Upper Water Street, such as the Historic Properties area, but it would not be useful for express bus service. It would also have only very limited utility as an emergency services route. The impact of large trucks on the residential and university communities adjacent to Robie Street should also be noted as a potential issue for this concept.
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6.0 PRELIMINARY COST ESTIMATES
6.1 Roadway Cost Estimate A preliminary cost estimate has been prepared that can be used as a feasibility tool to assess the potential implementation of a roadway in the rail corridor. The cost estimate has been developed for the two preferred alternatives, Option 1 and Option 4A. Unit costs have been developed and are presented in Appendix C. The cost estimate has been prepared using mapping information provided by HRM and photographs taken on site. The cost estimate has also been prepared without the use of a Digital Terrain Model (DTM). The cost estimate does not include any allowances for bridge structure replacement or reconstruction. The estimate does not include costs for the staging areas that will be required at the two access/egress points in the corridor. The estimate does not include cost for excavation under the bridge. At the project outset we were instructed that no detailed information was available with respect to vertical clearances. However, it is known that only the north track has been lowered to accommodate double-stack railcars. Therefore, it is acknowledged that the cost estimates are potentially low. The estimate contains cost items under three categories: services, capital, and property. Items that are included under Services include items such as program management, obtaining necessary approvals, truck road design, contract administration and geotechnical investigations. Capital costs consist of such items as construction of the new truck road, crossings, specialized systems for traffic control and rail relocation (Option 4A only). An allowance has been assumed for miscellaneous property acquisition only. It is assumed that the rail right-of-way would be leased from the railway. The costs for such a leasing arrangement are unknown. GO Transit in Ontario would provide an example of the costs of such a lease arrangement, because their trains operate on CN/CP corridors. Table 5 summarizes the preliminary roll-up cost estimate for potential implementation of Option 1 and Option 4A:
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TABLE 5 COST ESTIMATE – ENTIRE RAIL CORRIDOR (JOSEPH HOWE DRIVE TO OCEAN TERMINALS)
Item Services Capital Road Special Systems Rail Property (Allowance) Total Cost Chebucto Bridge Structure Grand Total 6.2 Chebucto Road Bridge Structure The Chebucto Road rail bridge structure has been identified as potential physical constraint, limiting implementation of a roadway in the rail corridor. A preliminary cost estimate has also been developed to assess the replacement cost of the Chebucto Road rail bridge structure, including any allowance for the demolition of the existing structure, construction staging, traffic management and approach works. The estimation is summarized in Table 6. There is the potential that the existing bridge structure may be rehabilitated to accommodate a roadway in the rail corridor. This has not been assessed as part of our investigation. TABLE 6 COST ESTIMATE - CHEBUCTO BRIDGE Item Services Capital Bridge Construction Approaches Bridge Demolition Traffic Management & Staging Total Cost Cost $240,000 $700,000 $400,000 $260,000 $250,000 $1,850,000 Option 1 $5,800,000 $29,700,000 $1,500,000 $500,000 $1,000,000 $38,500,000 $1,850,000 $40,350,000 Option 4A $7,400,000 $30,300,000 $1,500,000 $8,900,000 $1,000,000 $49,100,000 $1,850,000 $50,950,000
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7.0 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Feasibility of the TruckWay Concept The report has addressed the feasibility of a TruckWay in the CN rail corridor as well as alternatives to this idea. The TruckWay appears to be feasible and potentially attractive, based on operating considerations relating to travel time, as well as potential collateral benefits for transit service and emergency response. The concept of an elevated expressway over the CN rail lines is not recommended for any further analysis, due to the expected costs, community impacts and issues related to lack of accommodation for more single occupant vehicles in downtown Halifax. Five preliminary options have been developed as part of our investigation of options to provide a road in the existing CN rail corridor to accommodate either commercial truck of commuter bus traffic. All five options are feasible geometrically for implementation in the corridor. Option 1 and Option 4A have been selected as the preferred alternatives through an evaluation process based on observations of the existing site conditions and a review of the potential constraints in the corridor. These represent two very different options in terms of cost and operation. Based on the existing rail operation timetable in the corridor, there is a significant amount of time during the day when the corridor is not in use, so that it could be used for either a commuter bus and/or truck route. Either Option 1 or Option 4A would be feasible operationally. It is recommended that these Options be considered further should HRM wish to proceed with the TruckWay project. It is also recommended that the Municipality should discuss rail schedules with CN, in order to reach into a mutually convenient, flexible and cost-effective time-sharing schedule. There is the potential for corridor connections to be accommodated in the North End via the existing at-grade rail crossing on Joseph Howe Drive. This is a short distance away from Highway 102 (Bicentennial Drive) via Joseph Howe Drive. There is also the potential to provide a direct commuter bus connection at the existing Mumford Road Transit Terminal that is located adjacent to the rail corridor. The obvious corridor terminus in the South End is in the Ocean Terminals port facilities. With any of these options, snow storage and drainage in the corridor will be issues to address. In some sections of the corridor, the side slopes are fairly flat, which should facilitate snow storage. In other sections with more vertical slopes, snow removal may be required. This would add to the operating cost of the TruckWay.
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Another issue to be resolved should HRM wish to purse this concept with CN is storage of rail cars on the second, unused track. This is understood to be an issue for CN. The reduction in number of trains (understood to have occurred earlier this year) has resulted in the need for increased number of rail cars to be stored in close proximity to the Ocean Terminals. It is possible that an alternate storage location would need to be defined and preserved. Estimated Costs of TruckWay Options Cost estimates were prepared based on the implementation of Option 1 and Option 4A, to assess the feasibility of constructing a road system in the corridor. The cost estimate included cost items under three categories: services; capital and property. Items that are included under Services include items such as program management, obtaining necessary approvals, truck road design, contract administration and geotechnical investigations. Capital costs consist of such items as construction of the new truck road, crossings and the rail relocation cost. An allowance has been assumed for miscellaneous property allocation. The estimated cost for Options 1 and 4A, from Joseph Howe Drive to Ocean Terminal, were $38.5 million and $49.1 million respectively. The Chebucto Road rail bridge replacement estimated cost was an extra $18.5 million. Robie Street Connector The alternative of providing a connection to the rail corridor from Robie Street was investigated during this study as a possible first phase of developing the entire TruckWay. Three alternatives were evaluated for a direct connection at-grade to the corridor, and two fly-over options were assessed in terms of feasibility. The cost estimates were $17.2 million for the direct at-grade connection and $9.3 and $10.3 million for the grade separated alternatives. These connections are feasible connections to the corridor and Ocean Terminals but would have significant impact to the residential/hospital/university area in the South End of Robie Street. Benefits of the TruckWay Concept The benefits of the TruckWay extending to Joseph Howe Drive in the CN rail corridor may be summarized as follows: • • Removal of heavy trucks from municipal streets in downtown Halifax. This would have benefits in terms of reduced traffic congestion, noise and vibration, and air quality; Potential service as an express and/or commuter bus route. This would assist in managing traffic growth into downtown Halifax and supporting the downtown area as an employment and activity centre within HRM; Support for the economic vitality of the Ocean Terminals; and
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Enhanced response times for emergency services. Police, Fire and Ambulance could all utilize the TruckWay to travel between the waterfront area and Joseph Howe Drive in an emergency situation.
The concept of a truck road extending only from the Ocean Terminals to Robie Street has a lower cost than the entire TruckWay, but also fewer benefits. This connection would remove trucks from the narrow and congested sections of Hollis Street and Lower and Upper Water Street, such as the Historic Properties area, but it would not be useful for express bus service. It would also have only very limited utility as an emergency services route. The impact of large trucks on the residential and university communities adjacent to Robie Street should also be noted as a potential issue for this concept. Relationship to the Halifax Urban Greenway Proposal Most of the concepts discussed in this report require utilization of the second, unused rail track in the corridor. That would preclude the Greenway trail from passing under the bridges which span the rail corridor. (It is understood that the trail is currently foreseen to only pass under Quinpool Road.) However, our review of the corridor indicates that in some sections of the corridor, it would be possible to make these connections via the local street network. Thus the Greenway could be developed as a corridor combining on-street and off-street sections. Also, based on our on-site observations, it should be noted that in some locations, it is believed that the steepness of the rock cut could preclude the introduction of the Greenway within the rail corridor property. This would require a detailed investigation, once a decision has been reached with respect to the preferred alternative for managing truck and/or commuter bus traffic.
J:\2003jobs\16-03019.jwg\Report\2004 jan HRM Rail Cut Report.doc
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